LZ 37

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LZ 37
The Great Aerial Exploit of Lieut Warneford.jpg
Artist's impression of the destruction of German Zeppelin LZ 37 by Sub-Lieutenant Reginald Warneford on 7 June 1915.
Role Reconnaissance and bombing
National origin  German Empire
Type M-Class Zeppelin
Manufacturer Luftschiffbau Zeppelin at Friedrichshafen
Construction number LZ 37
First flight 4 March 1915
Owners and operators  Kaiserliche Marine
In service 4 March 1915 – 7 June 1915
Flights 14
Fate Shot down, June 7, 1915

The airship LZ 37 was a World War I Zeppelin of the German Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy). It was the first Zeppelin to be brought down during the war by an enemy plane on the night of 6–7 June 1915.[1]


In 1915 Zeppelins were first used by Germany for strategic bombing of the United Kingdom and France.

LZ 37 was part of a raid with Zeppelin LZ 38 and LZ 39. While returning, she was intercepted in the air by Reginald Warneford in his Morane Parasol during its first raid on Calais on 7 June 1915. Warneford dropped six 20 pounds (9.1 kg) Hales bombs on the zeppelin which caught fire and crashed into the convent school of Sint-Amandsberg, next to Ghent, Belgium (51°3′43.2″N 3°44′54.7″E / 51.062000°N 3.748528°E / 51.062000; 3.748528), killing two nuns. The commander of LZ 37, Oberleutnant von der Hägen, and seven members of the crew were killed. One crew member, Steuermann Alfred Műhler, miraculously survived with only superficial burns and bruises when he was precipitated from the forward gondola, landing in a bed.[2] It was the first victory of a heavier-than-air aircraft over a lighter-than-air dirigible. Warneford was awarded the Victoria Cross for his achievement.

The LZ 37 was based in Gontrode, Belgium (airport location: 50°58′54.6″N 3°47′17.1″E / 50.981833°N 3.788083°E / 50.981833; 3.788083).


Data from "The Zeppelin Airships - Part Two: Zeppelins of the Great War 1914–1918". Puget sound airship society. Retrieved 28 January 2011. 

General characteristics

  • Crew: 28
  • Length: 163.37 m (536 ft in)
  • Diameter: 18.7 m (61 ft 4 in)
  • Volume: 33,780 m3 (1,126,000 ft3)
  • Empty weight: 17588 kg (38,775 lb)
  • Useful lift: 8520 kg ( lb)
  • Powerplant: 4 × Maybach MC-X, 155 kW (210 hp) each


  • Maximum speed: 96 km/h (60 mph)


  • Four machine-guns


  1. ^ Stephenson 2004, p. 16.
  2. ^ History of the First World War, vol. 3, pp. 986.


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